|Type of paper:||Research paper|
The life of Jesus Christ, the gospel, and salvation gets presented in the bible but was also retold by many other writers. This essay aims at analyzing chapter 2, one among the 2nd to the 6th chapters of Marcus Borg's book, "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time." It also includes relating the ideas presented in the chapter by Borg to the various aspects learned in class about the history of the Jesus of Nazareth. Besides, it seeks my point of view on the ideas Borg analyzes in the chapter about Jesus.
The 2nd chapter of Borg's Book has the title "What Manner of Man?" which indicates its aim to bring an understanding of who Jesus Christ, the pre-Easter Jesus, was like. Borg suggests that the gospels point to a series of recorded information dating through the development of the early church and the life of Jesus Christ, but are not direct historical documents. Born a Jew, Jesus remained a Jew for all his life on earth (Borg, 22). The Jewish community never rejected or acted as Jesus' enemy as many people think, but few but powerful Jews led to the execution of Jesus. Jesus saw himself accomplishing His purpose within Judaism (Borg, 22).
The birth and childhood of Jesus are not stated in the scriptures. The two books, Mathew and Luke, which talk about Jesus' birth and early life, present entirely different views. For instance, Borg points that according to Mathew, the genealogy of Jesus traces back to Abraham, the forefather of the Jews, but that of Luke backs to Adam, the father of all tribes, both the Jewish and gentiles (Borg, 23). These differences imply that the account of Jesus' birth was created stories by the early church and not historical records. There is no reliable historical information to account for the life of Jesus after birth up to his 30thyear (Borg, 25). Borg believes that Jesus leads a normal Jewish life like any other child in Nazareth, acquiring the traditional education and skills offered at their time.
There is no statement on how Jesus thought of Himself, but he continually pointed off attention from himself to God. His message was always God-centered (Borg, 29). Jesus was a spiritual person with a spiritual understanding and connection to God, who taught wisdom in a social category and founded a new era of Jewish renewal and awakening that accompanied great miracles of healing, forgiveness, and redemption (Borg, 31). Jesus of Nazareth represented a reality of the Spirit of God, acting as a direct connection between man and God (Borg, 32). He showed authority in every activity he performed, which emanated from his spiritual being. He commanded instant healing, raising the dead and freedom from demons and other satanic possessions from man, which matched the actions of the foretold messiah (Borg, 36).
The spirituality of Jesus affects how the church understands the scriptures. Jesus was able to bring a perfect implication of God and his ways because of the spirit that was in Him. The Spirit is the Connection between God and man, and thus, it was not all about being Jewish that Jesus is considered exceptional, but due to the Spirit that was in Him (Borg, 37). Jesus's experience on earth gave people a different understanding of God. The early church gained knowledge that God is a supernatural being that has always had great concern for His people and has always been making plans from time to time for their salvation. Jesus cultivated the reality of having a relationship with Gods spirit rather than just believing in God (Borg, 39). Borg sees Jesus as the basis of establishing a strong relationship between God and humankind, which was the whole intention of God since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.
Borg's ideas relate to the information learned in class in a couple of ways. Just as Borg suggests, my study shows that Jesus grew in a particular culture, time and location like any other child in their times (Peter TRS100, spring 2018, Week 2, Slide 6). Our class study also adds that the life of Jesus as discussed in the Gospels bring out different understanding of Jesus. Besides, class discussions show that Jesus was a fulfillment of the words spoken by Old Testament prophets (Peter TRS100, Spring 2018, Week 2, Slide 9), just as presented by Borg. Borg's view and class readings have a common ground on the fact that Jesus was not just another preacher or prophet, but specifically was a prophet of the kingdom of God (Peter TRS100, spring 2018, Week 2, Slide 10). Jesus presented what was expected of man from God without compromising under any circumstances. In both views, Jesus taught with power and wisdom, like never before. According to the theological foundations, Jesus was the bridge of total forgiveness and birth of eternal life for all (James, 87). He mended the broken relationship between man and his creator, which is what Borg implies in his text. It also adds that the gospel books have various implications of the life of Jesus, which shows that the accounts were not historical recordings, but a general outline of the life of Jesus according to the information given by witnesses and experience of the writers with Jesus Christ (James, 81-83).
In my view, Jesus Christ fulfilled, beyond a reasonable doubt, prophecies and the will of God as stated in the Old Testament. Jesus changed the way of thinking of people towards their lives, God and their purpose on earth. Although Jesus was a normal human being, he had a unique spirit in Him that distinguished him from the rest of the religious leaders of the time. I agree with Borg's view on Jesus regarding the fact that he analyses the real impact Jesus brought to human beings and also clarifies many mysteries that people question about the pre-Easter life of Jesus. In my experience, what Jesus taught has much weight in affecting my daily life, in every decision I make.
James, Kelboffer. "The New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature" Theological Foundation. (2011): 78-95)
Marcus, Borg. "Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith" (2015): 20-39.
Peter, John. TRS100 Course Slides, Spring 2018")
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